The newest game we have utilized with the middle school students is the Amazing Race game for the Wii. The students really enjoyed this game and I was impressed with the amount of critical thinking skills needed to play and the increase in cooperative skills the students showed as the game progressed. Listed below are benefits I found inherit in the game (I am sure there are more, these are the ones that popped out at me the first time through) and a step by step guide to play in a classroom setting. This game seemed to be able to use competition in a positive way to encourage students to excel and work together to the team's best advantage.
a.. Great for cooperative learning/ skills
b.. Students learned quickly to work together in order to improve their scores/time/performance
c.. Worked on student oral communication with peers
d.. Students thought rapid fire challenges were exciting
e.. Challenges encouraged students to use critical thinking/ higher order thinking skills
f.. Some challenges were physical in nature and allowed students the ability to utilize kinesthetic skills
g.. Possible geography/research extension activity in reference to destinations in the game
h.. This is a very quick moving game which allows it to maintain student attention throughout game play
1.. You can choose two ways to play: individual players against each other or teams of two working together against computer or other teams
2.. You can also choose how many legs of the race you want to play, the more legs the longer the game play.
3.. We played with teams of two working together against the computerized teams
4.. This method got more students involved at one time; however with the amount of people per team, it took some time for students to figure out the best system of working together.
5.. Teams choose female or male faces and then the type of team they want to be; for example, sporty, couch fans, military, gothic, etc. Students had a great time in this part of the game.
6.. Next there is an introduction to the game and some brief instructions.
7.. Teams are given an allowance of money for each leg of the race and then given four options of transportation. Students need to evaluate the best option based on time and money available. The objective of the game is to take the least amount of time to arrive at the chosen destination, so students need to decide which mode of transportation to take and how much money they are willing to spend on it.
8.. Once the mode of transportation is chosen, the teams watch as their virtual teams makes their way to the given destination and see in which order the teams arrived.
9.. There is a brief introduction to the place in which the teams have arrived (some places we have encountered so far: Rome, Rio, New Zealand), accompanied by images from the area.
10.. After each challenge of the game, the teams are listed in order by the amount of time they have taken up to that point. This order also lets the teams know how they are ranked in the game.
11.. There is a challenge, either physical or mental, at each destination. Students work together to accomplish the tasks in the least amount of time as possible. Some of the challenges involve both teams at the same time and some have the teams work individually.
12.. At the end of all the legs of the race, teams are put in their final order. The last team to arrive to the last destination is eliminated from the race.